Brands want people to like them. It’s an understood concept. More fans means more sales, right? Maybe not.

Typically, follower count is associated with the success and popularity of a brand. More followers means more reach, and therefore greater potential for a conversion. When setting a social media strategy, though, we strongly urge brands to de-prioritize follower count.

Here’s what’s important: reaching an interested audience. Here’s what’s not important: reaching an unmoved audience. When building a social media strategy, brands should focus on three primary indicators of success: targeting, engagement, and action.

Targeted Content

Customizing brand-owned content for a particular audience. Whether that’s based on demographics, behaviors, or locations, audiences will engage with brands they feel connected to. That leads us to our next point…

Engagement

When users are particularly compelled by a piece of content, they will likely react to it. It’s the unspoken currency of the internet. Brand provides content. User reinforces their affinity for the content. Repeat. The key to quality social content is creating something that will spark action from an audience member. Which leads us to our final point…

Action

When users are even more compelled to show appreciation for a post or a brand, they will take action. Whether that’s commenting on a post or clicking on a link to a new website, these actions are direct indicators of content success.

Don’t Believe the Hype

Acquired followership is a secondary indicator of success and should be treated as such. When users are so compelled by the brand and its content that they decide they want to become a fan of their page, (i.e., never miss a post), that is considered a success. Like Suits Social says, “Follower count only matters to your business or brand if your audience actually cares, actively consumes, and engages with your social media content.”

Marketers, stop tracking organic fan growth over time as a KPI. Rather, track attributable fan acquisition, measuring fan growth after key campaigns and targeted advertising. Media buyers, stop spending money on attribution campaigns, unless followership is deemed a secondary indicator of success. Brands, focus on the quality of your audience rather than the quantity of your audience. As you create and adjust your social marketing tactics with a quality-first mindset, the conversion return will far surpass what you’d get from a lot of uninterested fans.